Buying or transferring property

Residential property

Residential property for Stamp Duty purposes means:

  • a building, or part of a building, which at the date the instrument (written document) was executed:
    • was used, or was suitable for use, as a dwelling
    • was in the course of being built, or adapted for use, as a dwelling
    • or
    • had been built or adapted for use as a dwelling, and had not since been adapted for any other use
    • and
  • the area attached to the residential property (for example, the garden or yard), excluding the site of the residential property. If this area exceeds one acre the area in excess of one acre is non-residential property.

Residential property includes a derelict or uninhabitable house.

The definition links to the rating system operated by local authorities.

For example, if you buy a building such as a:

  • church
  • schoolhouse
  • shop
  • post office
  • Garda station
  • or
  • barn

that you want to restore as a dwelling, it may not qualify as residential property for Stamp Duty purposes.

You should contact your local authority to find out the rating of the building in the previous calendar year.

If, on 31 December in the previous calendar year, the rating:

  • of the building was non-residential
  • or
  • of any part of the building was non-residential,

you treat the building, or the part rated as non-residential, as non-residential property for Stamp Duty purposes.

Buying or transferring a house or apartment

If you buy a house, you execute (sign, seal or both) an instrument (written document) to transfer the property to you. You must pay Stamp Duty on this instrument at the residential rate.

If the area attached to the house exceeds one acre, you pay Stamp Duty at the non-residential rate for the area over one acre.

If you buy an apartment you buy it by way of lease.

Buying or transferring a site

A site is non-residential property. You pay Stamp Duty on the cost of the site. You may have a claim to a refund of some of the Stamp Duty you pay. For more information see Residential Development Stamp Duty Refund Scheme.

However, if you buy a site with a connected agreement to build residential property on it, the site is residential property. You pay Stamp Duty on the site cost plus the cost of the building, exclusive of any Value-Added Tax (VAT).


  • agreement to buy the site
  • and
  • the building agreement

are connected if you cannot have the site transferred to you without the residential property being built on it.

How much Stamp Duty do you pay?

See Working out your Stamp Duty.

If you inherit property or receive a gift, please see Property transferred as a gift or inheritance.

Mixed use property

Mixed use property is property with a residential and non-residential part, for example, a shop with an apartment upstairs.

You should apportion the consideration for the property between the residential and non-residential parts.

You pay Stamp Duty at the residential rate for the residential part. You pay Stamp Duty at the non-residential rate for the non-residential part.

You should keep a record of how you reached the decision to apportion the consideration.

What if you do not know the consideration?

Sometimes you will not know the property’s final price when the instrument is executed. If this is the case, you pay Stamp Duty on its market value. We outline some exceptions to this in Working out your Stamp Duty.

Next: Non-residential property